Global investment firm KKR invest in Vietnamese education company EQuest

June 01, 2021 | 18:08
Global investment firm KKR has announced its investment into EQuest Education Group, a leading educational services provider in Vietnam.  
global investment firm kkr invest in vietnamese education company equest
Global investment firm KKR has invested in Vietnamese education company EQuest

The investment will be used to support EQuest’s expansion and advance its mission to provide students in Vietnam with affordable access to world-class education.

Accordingly, EQuest operates a diversified portfolio across the educational sector in Vietnam, focusing on four core segments including K-12 bilingual schools, tertiary and vocational institutions, English enrichment courses, and digital learning solutions. Its K-12 portfolio serves more than 9,000 students in its eight campuses.

EQuest has gained a strong reputation in Vietnam where there is rapidly-growing demand for an affordable bilingual curriculum with strong efficacy. As a group, EQuest has more than 110,000 students enrolled across its segments each year, positioning the company as one of the largest private educational services providers in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $367 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2021. The deal is made through KKR Global Impact Fund and marks the fund’s fourth investment globally in the educational and workforce development space as part of the fund’s thematic focus on lifelong learning.

The fund is focused on generating risk-adjusted returns by investing in companies that contribute toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). EQuest’s business directly contributes towards SDG 4 (Quality Education) by providing accessible, affordable, and high-quality education to Vietnam’s emerging middle-class population.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, co-founder and CEO of EQuest, said: “Access to high-quality education and intensive English-language training is crucial for Vietnamese students to achieve their full potential. By making the access affordable at a disruptive cost, EQuest is committed to delivering world-class education and bringing accredited, world-class curriculum to more Vietnamese students to improve their competitiveness in the global arena."

"With the support of KKR and its sector expertise, we are confident we will be able to advance our mission to provide quality learning for Vietnam’s millions of students and contribute to the development of a skilled workforce that will support the country’s long-term growth aspirations,” he added.

In the same vein, Ashish Shastry, co-head of Asia Private Equity and head of Southeast Asia at KKR, said, “Investing in Vietnam and supporting the growth of the country’s businesses and industries is a key part of KKR’s strategy in Asia. As Vietnam continues to rise on the global economic stage, access to affordable, high-quality education solutions plays an important role in meeting the nation’s objectives. We are excited to invest in EQuest and to support aspiring Vietnamese entrepreneurs like Toan – as well as EQuest’s talented team – to help realise their vision for closing the education gap in the country.”

Vietnam has a growing middle-class population with rapidly increasing demand for better education. With continued trends of globalisation, English has become an essential employability skill, with proficiency in the language a high-priority area for Vietnam’s national education goals. The Vietnamese government has also earmarked digital learning solutions as a strong area of focus as it seeks to further improve access to education.

By Thanh Van

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional